How Lawyers Can Use Social Media In Investigations

Social Media

There are not many people in the world today that are not connected to some social media network. With the internet bridging the gap between continents, nations and towns a person gets to stay in touch with friends, family and loved ones. It is a way to reconnect with people that were long lost to us and with a click we can visit them across the globe without leaving home.

The Pitfalls of Social Media

If a private investigator Melbourne wants to trace you one of the first things they are going to do is look to social media. Here is why! We upload photo’s, get tagged in photo’s our friends or families have of us. When something exciting, good or bad happens to us all we have to do is update our status and all those who follow us get to share it with us. Social Media gives us an outlet for our grief, joy, sorrow and makes us feel supported and cared for by our “friends”. The thing is Social Media allows us to be monitored and traced. Prospective employers can pull up our profiles as can other groups such as the police, government and lawyers. In fact, tracing agents, servers and lawyers get a lot of their information about people of interest from their social media profiles. They can even run a search on any tagged picture of you to bring up like pictures. This, in turn, will unravel more and more information about you to them.

Lawyers use social media in case investigations ethical use of social media by lawyers is admissible in court. This is as long as the lawyer in question has only accessed the public parts of the social media account. It can become inadmissible, however, if the lawyer “friended” a potential witness or person under investigation with the sole purpose of being able to view the non-public areas.

If, however, information that is discovered by the lawyer in the public section of a person of interest’s account provides what is known as a “good faith belief” then there may be information pertinent to their case in the non-public section. The lawyer may be able to obtain a court order that will allow them to view the private data on the social media account.

Social Media Diligence

It is not only lawyers, police, government or servers that can use your social media accounts either for or against a person. Your list of friends can do so too. In today’s ever-increasing list of various things that offend people, it is very easy to get sued. Whereas it used to be their word against yours it is now their snapshot evidence taken from a social media blurb! When posting and or updating your social media accounts it is always best to practice due diligence. Although it is very easy to fall into the social media trap of posting every little detail or picture. But even on the internet less is more so always keep in mind it is called Social Media for a reason!